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Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Marc)>> Today on Detroit Muscle we take the tired old automatic transmission out of our police car.

(Tommy)>> And replace it with a fire breathing five speed, and of course we've got to take this thing out for some hot pursuit. [ MUSIC ] [ engines revving ] [ MUSIC ]

(Narrator)>> Marc and Tommy bought a cop car. Marc didn't think it was a good purchase.

(Marc)>> This thing? [ MUSIC ]

(Narrator)>> Tommy did though.

(Tommy)>> This ole girl's got a lot of potential.

(Narrator)>> Then the boys installed a turbocharger. [ engine revving ]

(Narrator)>> It does burnouts now. [ engine revving ] [ drill humming ]

(Narrator)>> Then they upgraded the suspension. It sits lower and handles much better now. Then they dressed up like cops and bought doughnuts.

(Marc)>> Thank you!

(Narrator)>> They did doughnuts while eating doughnuts.

(Marc)>> This thing will do some serious doughnuts. Alright well I got that ordered and it says it's gonna come in a non-descript package with your name on it. You'll know it when you get it.

(Tommy)>> Cool you ready to get that tranny out?

(Marc)>> Let's do it. Well we've had a lot of fun with this car, and we just didn't think we wanted to send it off just yet. We've got one big upgrade we still want to do.

(Tommy)>> Absolutely the next thing we're gonna do is kind of unheard of when it comes to a Crown Vic but I'm here to tell you it's got fun all over it.

(Marc)>> And the fun department is definitely not some place that this thing is lacking. Even though it's big, and heavy, and has four doors we have had a ball with this thing, and it seems like every little thing we do doubles the fun factor and we feel like it's got one more of those left it.

(Tommy)>> So our plan is to rip out that slush box automatic and swap it over to a manual, and I have to say when you add that third pedal and a shifter in the floor that's gonna change everybody's attitude riding in the car. In the '60's during the height of the muscle car era the big three were pumping out more horsepower than automatic transmissions at the time could handle. So they had to back those high output power plants with metal to metal three and four speed gear boxes. [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> But the gearheads of the day loved it. Pushing the clutch pedal gave your fellow motorists a couple of free revs of big block rumbles through the dual exhaust. Dump the clutch and do a burnout as you launch through the intersection, what's cooler than that? Not to mention keeping both hands and feet busy while driving is just more fun. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Well I guess you could say where we're heading isn't really uncharted territory but for me that's definitely unfamiliar.

(Marc)>> Yeah it's unfamiliar to me too. I mean I've done automatic to manual swaps. We both have but not on something like this that didn't come with a manual from the factory. See normally you could just get parts from the junkyard, make it all work, but can't really do that on this one, but thankfully there are some aftermarket parts available and we've got a little bit of ingenuity we can sprinkle on there and hopefully by the end of the day we can go have some fun with this thing.

(Tommy)>> Hope we don't need a whole bunch of that sprinkling on it.

(Marc)>> Coming up we slap in our new five speed with a little massaging.

(Tommy)>> Well we've got our Crown Vic all disassembled and we're pretty much ready to start going back in with the new pieces. Now what's cool about this conversion is it's not so crazy that it's gonna require one off pieces because the power plant in this Crown Vic is shared in the Mustang and in the pickup trucks, but it is handy to have somebody to help make your dreams happen like with what we're going with. So we went to American Powertrain for all the hard parts. Flywheel, clutch disc, pressure plate, and so on. It's time for us to start putting some in. I'll knock in the new piloting bearing and set out flywheel into place, add some thread locker to the bolts, torque it to spec. Then we can add our clutch disc and pressure plate. Once that's all in we can add our bolts and cinch them down. That's it!

(Marc)>> Well here's the transmission that's going in our Crown Vic. It's a Tremec TKO 600 that came from American Powertrain. Now there's several advantages to this thing. First and foremost is gonna be the fact that it's a manual compared to that slush box that came out. Another thing is gonna be this thing is gonna handle all the power we can throw at it with that turbo we added. This thing's kinda on its last leg. At this point it's the weakest part of the car. So it's just a matter of time before this thing ends up in the scrapyard. So we figured we'd go ahead and do some preventative maintenance and go ahead and yank it out. Some other disadvantages to this automatic. This is a four speed. Even though it does have an overdrive it's gonna have completely different gear ratios than our five speed here. First gear in this transmission is gonna be super low. So you're gonna have that performance feel off the line, but then the overdrive is a nice and high gear. So when you get out on the highway you kick it into overdrive and just cruise. It'll actually even save you some fuel. Another thing is this thing is an electronic transmission. So it's gonna go into whichever gear the controller tells it to. As for this one it's gonna go into the exact gear we want at that exact moment. One more thing though we need to take into consideration before we start throwing this thing in. Since the Crown Vics were only offered with automatic transmissions like this one here the floor kinda contours the housing here. If you look at it from the side it kinda flows down hill, and if you look at our manual it's kinda flat across the top. So that might actually be an issue for us. We need to check it out. Another thing we've got a shifter that's gonna need to go through the floor. We're gonna have to make a hole for that. So we need to see where this lands and go from there. All we need to do is measure from the engine block to where that shifter's gonna go and make a mark. Alright 26.5 inches is right there. I've got a hole drilled there where I need to drill with my hole saw but it's gonna be difficult to do from underneath here because of the contour of the floor. So I'm gonna put the car down and do it from inside. [ MUSIC ] [ drill buzzing ] [ MUSIC ]

(Marc)>> Alright well now we can go ahead and get the bell housing in place, and then put the transmission in. [ drill humming ]

(Tommy)>> Well big man with you doing the hard part I guess I'd help you with this heavy part.

(Marc)>> I'd appreciate it. The thing weighs about 100 pounds. I don't want to man handle it. Just a little bit more. Come on. We're there. Release bearing went onto the collar. Let me wiggle the engine a little while you move it.

(Tommy)>> Perfect!

(Marc)>> Alright well let's hurry up and get some bolts in it. [ MUSIC ]

(Tommy)>> While you finish up here I'm gonna go get on the driveshaft.

(Marc)>> Alright I've got it from here.

(Tommy)>> American Powertrain also sent us the yoke that we need to slide into the tail housing of our transmission. And then I went for a little field trip if you will to a friend of mine's all Ford salvage yard, and after rummaging through a boatload of driveshafts I come up with a nifty piece of information. If you're ever looking to do a five speed swap into a Crown Victoria all you need for a driveshaft is to find you a two wheel drive '94 Ford Ranger long wheel base with a 3.0 and you have you one with the perfect length. With that snap stick it's time to head out and light up the track.

(Marc)>> Well after making it here to US 43 Dragway going these back roads I can tell you this Crown Vic out on the dragstrip is gonna be a blast.

(Tommy)>> Man I think you are dead on on that one, but you know I'm a little hungry. So I'm gonna be in hot pursuit of some nachos a little later on, but what's your plans for right now?

(Marc)>> I'm just gonna get in the driver's seat and make a couple of hits if that's alright with you.

(Tommy)>> Heck yeah, let's see what this thing will do! [ MUSIC ]

(Marc)>> Since I don't really know what this thing's gonna do, just to give it a shot I'm gonna give it about 3,500 r-p-m and then just get out of the clutch kinda quick. I don't know if it's gonna hook or not. If it hooks I'll try it again at a higher r-p-m. If it doesn't hook we need stickier tires. Well it spun actually more than I expected it to. I was a little bit out of the groove I can see, but I still don't think it should have spun that hard. I'm gonna try launch it at a lower r-p-m. If it's really slow I feel like it's gonna bog down. If it's slow I'm gonna do a tire swap. Just no way around it. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Well he took off on the first one and pretty much blew the tires off of it, and on the second one he tried something a little different. They're still slipping just a bit. We may end up having to put on a set of slicks.

(Marc)>> So I didn't get the e-t on the first run but was that better or worse?

(Tommy)>> About the same in all reality. It looks like you took off a lot harder. Well less slippage.

(Marc)>> The launch was better. The one-two shift was a little worse because I did hit the rev limiter, but then after I got into second and let out the clutch it spun. It needs a tire. There's just no way around it. I need to get a harder launch and I need it to not spin when I shift. I can make another hit but I don't think there's a point in beating on it. Put some stickies on it. You want to see if you can do better?

(Tommy)>> Not necessarily better I just want to drive it without slicks on it.

(Marc)>> Is that the e-t, 9.68?

(Tommy)>> Yep!

(Marc)>> I ain't mad at that. You hit it! Can't hurt it! [ tires squealing ] [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> Time for the tire change. We went to Summit Racing for a pair of Hoosier drag radials in 245/45 17 over stock style wheels.

(Tommy)>> You getting them air pressures dialed in I'm gonna check the driver's seat.

(Marc)>> You're good to go. I'll be at the starting line.

(Tommy)>> 10-4! Well we've done got the tires a little sticky. Now it's time to see if it's just enough. [ MUSIC ]

(Marc)>> 9.44, that's two tenths quicker. I think we're on to something. How'd you feel about that run?

(Tommy)>> I think I can do better. I didn't launch it as hard as I could cause I was trying to see what it would do, and if it bit, which it did a lot better than the previous ride.

(Marc)>> Well that was about two tenths quicker. So that was a big jump. I think we're on the right track.

(Tommy)>> We'll see what's up. [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> Yes sir! 9.1!

(Tommy)>> Man I know this ole girl's got that heavy duty cooling but I figure we ought to let it cool down.

(Marc)>> You want to know how quick you went.

(Tommy)>> That too, sure!

(Marc)>> So your last best before this was a 9.41 and you're going about 77 through the traps. Each time you're about 77 miles an hour. So you're not losing power even though it is hot, but that time was a 9.100. 9.1 flat at 77.96 miles per hour, and remember we were talking about the 60 foot? You went from like 2.35 60 foot to a 2.172 60 even though it was kinda on the edge of losing traction all the way out to the 60 it was still quicker. So I don't know what you did but you did it right.

(Tommy)>> Well all I can say now is it is your turn and my turn to grab some cheese. Good luck buddy!

(Marc)>> I'm gonna let her cool and then I'm gonna make some hits.

(Tommy)>> You'll find me in the stands enjoying myself. Not saying I'm not enjoying myself now, but I really am gonna enjoy myself even more. You go ahead and do your thing.

(Marc)>> I think he's a little confident that I'm not gonna go quicker than 9.10 and I'm not really confident that I will. We're gonna try. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> 9.4 that's pretty good. Ain't as good as me though. These nachos um-hmm. He's gonna have his work cut out. [ engine revving ] [ MUSIC ]

(Marc)>> Wow 9.00 at 78. That's got Tommy covered by a full tenth, and I think it's got an 8.99 in it though. If it'll go 9.00 it'll go 8.99. So I think I'm just gonna hang out here for a little bit but y'all go check on Tommy and see what he's up to. See what he thought about that 9.0 run.

(Tommy)>> Well after about 47 passes he finally beat me. He did beat me by like ten tenths of a second, which is alright, but I have to say I had it a whole lot easier than he did. Besides my view's a lot better too. This Vic's been fun. You never know, we may build us something else like this and come play for a while.

(Marc)>> We try not to get pulled over testing out the xMOD exhaust.

(Tommy)>> Man I run out for one second and the next thing I know you've got a Mustang on the lift and the exhaust laying on the floor.

(Marc)>> Yeah I know you needed a honey bun so bad you had to go. So leave me to my devices I'm gonna have a Mustang on the lift.

(Tommy)>> What we got going on here? This looks like a pretty elaborate kit.

(Marc)>> Yeah so you know how when we're doing an install and we've got all the parts laid out, and like man they didn't include this, or why didn't they do that? Well Magnaflow's been getting those requests for years, and they decided they're gonna make it all in one premium kit, answer all of those requests, and they've done it with this kit right here, and we're gonna put it in this car.

(Tommy)>> Now is this thing only a loud kit?

(Marc)>> No, that's one of the big requests is for it to be modular. So this has actually four different settings, which we'll get into all that later, but the construction is also equally as impressive. This is the xMOD. It comes with carbon fiber tips, v-band connections, things like that.

(Tommy)>> It ain't gonna drone is it?

(Marc)>> No actually that's what those little extra pipes are, those little dead end pipes. Those are where they tuned out the drone, even on the loud settings.

(Tommy)>> Well that's pretty cool. I know I really like the flow and sound of a Magnaflow. That rumble that it's got is something sweet.

(Marc)>> Okay well that answers my first question, and that was gonna be I wanted you to pick which mid pipe we were gonna go with because you two options. You have something loud and then you have that Magnaflow tone that you love so much. So that first part's figured out. Let's get it!

(Tommy)>> Cool!

(Marc)>> Alright so everything else that comes with the kit is in this portable case here. So if you've got active exhaust you can install these. Actually your factory actuator bolts right on here to actuate it. You've got long tube headers. It comes with these header adapters, and of course all the v-band clamps to get everything installed. What I like about this kit the most is this option here. It's got two mid pipes and you get to choose which one you want to go with. If you want the louder sound you can do this extreme delete here. It's basically an "X", or if you want that classic Magnaflow sound like Tommy does well you go with this mid pipe right here. We're gonna get this one on the car. [ MUSIC ] Good on my end. [ MUSIC ]

(Tommy)>> Don't let me hold you up. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> Looks nice! The last question is gonna be do you want these block off plates installed here in this tube or do you want to leave them out? If we put them in that's gonna force the air through this extra resonator here but if you leave them out that air can come straight out. So then your muffler up front will be the only muffler.

(Tommy)>> We've got one muffler. Let's just see what it sounds like.

(Marc)>> Let's take it out and take it for a rip.

(Tommy)>> Yes sir! After we set this thing back on two wheels we landed at NCM Motorsports Park. Well the ride up here was definitely enjoyable. The sound this thing was making was wonderful and it didn't have any drone to it.

(Marc)>> Yeah I noticed too it wasn't as loud as I expected it to be in competition mode. So the question is can it be loud?

(Tommy)>> Oh absolutely. We've got it out here on this big stretch of pavement and we're gonna see what kind of tune this pretty little thing's gonna sing.

(Marc)>> Alright ring it out man.

(Tommy)>> I can do that, that ain't a problem. [ MUSIC ]

(Marc)>> Watch this, I'm gonna use his saying. Alright hammer down!

(Tommy)>> 10-4! [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> That thing sounds pretty sweet. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Magnaflow definitely makes a Mustang sound good. That is an understatement saying that. [ MUSIC ]

(Marc)>> That's competition mode.

(Tommy)>> Was it my driving that made you think that?

(Marc)>> Yeah, what happened the first time?

(Tommy)>> I didn't want to like break it, but I may have to do this again if you'll step back out of the way. [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> I didn't think he liked Mustangs.

(Tommy)>> I can't deny that'll put a smile on anybody's face. See that last one wasn't as hot. I had to let the car cool down.

(Marc)>> Okay that's fair. So what do you think?

(Tommy)>> You want to try round two, make it louder?

(Marc)>> You think it can handle it?

(Tommy)>> I think you can handle it.

(Marc)>> Well I really want to hear what it sounds like with that "X" in it cause I know it's gonna make that crackle that I love. You know, the way a Mustang should sound.

(Tommy)>> I understand. Well let's get over here to the garage.

(Marc)>> Let's do it. [ MUSIC ] Once the exhaust is cool we just need to loosen a few clamps and slide the muffler out. Now we're ready to install the xMOD extreme delete mid pipe, and now we've got it on the loudest setting, race mode.

(Tommy)>> Well we got that loud pipe under it. Are you excited?

(Marc)>> Absolutely, this is gonna be the winning combination you watch.

(Tommy)>> I bet it's gonna be an award winning combination.

(Marc)>> Good thing we're out here. [ MUSIC ]

(Tommy)>> I don't know if I can plug my ears or not. That ain't bad. [ engine idling ]

(Tommy)>> Alright boss man don't be bashful. [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> Here we go! [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> That's definitely louder.

(Marc)>> I love this sound. This is to me the way a Mustang should sound right here. A little gravelly, a little bit too loud, it's perfect. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> I bet that's just good enough to get you one of the $75 dollar awards for sure.

(Marc)>> What, I can't hear you over all this awesomeness.

(Tommy)>> You know if it sounds that good in a Mustang imagine it would sound like in a Dodge.

(Marc)>> But to me honestly, joking aside, this is the way a Mustang should sound to me. Maybe a little bit too loud, little bit of gravel, I love it.

(Tommy)>> It's got a crisp sound to it.

(Marc)>> If you're not getting off the throttle hoping you don't get a ticket you're not doing it right.

(Tommy)>> I understand. Well let's see what it sounds like some more.

(Marc)>> Alright! [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> This is fun. I can see how if you're on the street you might need it a little bit quieter. [ engine revving ] [ MUSIC ]

(Tommy)>> I don't know if you know it but listen. [ sirens ]

(Tommy)>> You can hear the cop sirens. You might ought to put them little plugs in the back side.

(Marc)>> I was thinking it's just slightly too loud for the street.

(Tommy)>> Within the ordinance you know.

(Marc)>> Right, if you don't want to get that ticket, and I don't really feel like getting a ticket on the way home.

(Tommy)>> And that's easy enough to fix.

(Marc)>> Let's do it.

(Tommy)>> This process is simple. Just unbolt the tip, slide in the plug to cap off the straight pipe, and then reinstall. Well we got the plugs in the exhaust tip. So that means this thing's in street mode, and it's quite a bit quieter than it was just a few moments ago. It didn't take but about 10 minutes to put those plugs in. It's time for us to hit the highway and head south. Hold up boss. Hey, hey! Man I sure hope he's just hitting the track again. That's a long walk back to Pulaski.
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